Code of Ethics: Trump Administration

A person standing in a crowd holding a sign that says, " I wish this were fake news"

Public relations professionals are required to abide by a code of ethics. You can read the entire code here , but for the purpose of this blog, I want to highlight the section that references honesty.

“We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.”

I read an article today on the Trump Administration staffers looking for their next career move as the past four years come to an end (thank God). The article headline was, “Forbes editor warns companies that might hire Trump press secretaries: Magazine will assume everything they say is a lie.” I laughed out loud. Apparently, a recruiter took on six publicists who were looking for jobs, and they were unable to line up a single interview, not one. Good.
Most of us would think, “Well, obviously. You spent the last four years lying about everything,” but I am sure these six individuals were just so surprised. As PR professionals, the PRSA Code of Ethics charges us with maintaining the integrity of relationships with the media, government officials, and the public.
Not a single staff member of the Trump Administration PR team can claim honesty or integrity. The mere fact that after the January 6th attacks on our Capitol, they wallowed in self-pity, worrying about future careers, tells you everything you need to know.
A Politico article quoted one administration official’s comment on Wednesday’s events. They said, “This will hurt us in trying to get jobs.” Others in Trump-world spent the day itching to take their Trump White House experience off their resume entirely.
“You go to the White House to work there because you want to serve your country in literally the most amazing building and the most powerful place in the world with the best of intentions, and then shit like this happens, and you feel embarrassed by it, naturally,” said one of the former White House officials.
Every single PR practitioner commits to uphold the PRSA Code of Ethics. It helps ensure our profession is above reproach. Allowing individuals such as Spicer, Hicks, Conway and McEnany to continue to be employed in our industry is unacceptable. They chose their lies, and we must choose truth.
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